The Nebraska Unicameral Legislature has directed the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) to develop a Livestock Friendly County program to recognize counties that support Nebraska's livestock industry. The Livestock Friendly County program assists counties and agriculture producers promote the Nebraska livestock industry.
What is the Livestock Friendly County program?
- The Nebraska Livestock Friendly County program is a voluntary program that recognizes counties that actively support the livestock industry. NDA partners with counties in the program to encourage development of the livestock industry in the county.
How does the Livestock Friendly County program work?
- Counties must apply to NDA to be designated as a Livestock Friendly County. Application materials are available from NDA, and any county may apply.
- The county board is required to hold a public hearing and pass a resolution asking NDA to designate the county as a Livestock Friendly County. The county submits an application to NDA. Local producer and community groups can work together to ask the board to submit a Livestock Friendly County application to NDA.
- Counties that are accepted by NDA may include the Livestock Friendly County designation in materials promoting the county. The information gathered as part of the application process will also be a valuable resource for local producers and others interested in supporting the county.
How will NDA evaluate county applications?
- Each county is different. There are a wide variety of activities and regulations adopted by Nebraska counties that support the livestock industry. NDA will look at all of the things county government and groups in the county are doing to support livestock.
- If the county is zoned, NDA will evaluate county zoning regulations that apply to livestock operations. The Livestock Friendly County regulations include examples of things counties can do to be considered livestock friendly, but a county can apply even if they do not fit any of the examples given.
Why should a county apply for the Livestock Friendly County designation?
- Every county has something to gain from pursuing the Livestock Friendly County (LFC) designation. However, designation is not something the state does to a county, but rather it is recognition for the work the county does to establish a thriving livestock industry.
- Nebraska's agriculture economy depends on livestock. Livestock is Nebraska's largest agriculture industry with nearly 50% of all agriculture receipts originating from livestock sales. Livestock processing is the largest single employment class in Nebraska and provides many jobs in rural communities.